Police forces have received more than 800 allegations of domestic abuse against officers over the past five years, an investigation has found.

Of the 829 allegations of domestic abuse made against police officers or staff since 2015, only 43 (five per cent) resulted in prosecution, lower than the rate against members of the public (nine per cent). 

Serving female officers have warned that victims are being let down because of the “unconscious bias” in police forces which are unwilling to investigate their colleagues. 

The latest figures, obtained by the BBC, follow a report in April that the Metropolitan Police was investigating an officer amid allegations that he raped two of his female colleagues. The story prompted more than 20 other police officers from across the UK to come forward with their own accounts of domestic abuse by colleagues.

Sarah, a Met officer who did not want to be identified, told Radio 4’s File on 4 programme that she was abused by an older, more senior male colleague who she had a baby with.

Describing one of the attacks, Sarah told the BBC: "He then punched me in the arm, and then a couple of open hand strikes on my back and threw me on the floor. And it was only when the baby was crying that he then stopped. I had bruising from the top of my bum all the way down to my knee on the side of my leg where he slammed the door on me."

Sarah ended the relationship and reported the incident months later to Kent Police. But an official police report concluded she had fallen against the door and Sarah was told it was too late to press charges.

"I didn’t feel safe despite working in a police building surrounded by police officers," she said. 

"If anything I felt more at risk because he was able to manipulate colleagues into checking on me or intimidating me. It felt just as scary as my home had been."

Another serving female officer, named only as Lucy, resigned after spending 10 years working on domestic abuse cases because of the way she claimed her force treated victims.

"We know there are going to be bad officers. But actually, we don’t deal with them in the right way," she said. "And we’re letting down victims to be further victimised, pushed out and be silenced. I just couldn’t stay. I’d rather be unemployed and poor than to continue serving that kind of organisation.”

Simon Wilson, assistant chief constable of Kent Police, said: “Tackling domestic abuse and protecting those at risk is a priority for Kent Police and we want anyone who feels they are a victim or knows someone who may be suffering in a domestic setting to come forward and tell us so we can intervene and provide the necessary safeguarding measures.

"Domestic abuse happens in all walks of life and professions, and policing is no exception. There has been a lot of work both nationally and locally to raise awareness of the abuse of power by police officers to make sure it can be identified and that victims are confident enough to report allegations. Those individuals responsible for abuse of power for domestic abuse are not representative of the vast majority of officers who serve the public and protect victims with a great deal of pride and empathy.”